Bognor/Chichester CTC Club Ride Notes
Thursday, 27 July 2006
Wednesday 26 July - Chichester start
Phil, Mary and John left the cross on another sultry evening. We headed south to the yacht basin and followed the canal down through Hunston to the entrance to Chichester Marina. We then followed the A286 south west to the roundabout, and made our way back through Birdham to re-cross the canal by the footbridge in the Marina. There was little activity in the marina as we crossed over the main lock gate and took the path through the woods to meet the lane just east of Appledram and finally made our way to the Anchor. It was an evening of vivid colours. The weeds in the canal were bright green. The tide was low and the mudflats also showed green vegetation. The sun setting in the smoggy west was a brilliant red. To the south, another evening thunder storm provided flashes of forked lightening and rumbles of thunder. We were joined by Richard, Elizabeth & family, then the group from Bognor led by Edwin.
Tuesday, 25 July 2006
Sunday 23 July. Rowlands Castle from Chichester Cross
We, Liz and I (Alan) met Dawn, Fred and Sonja at Quarry Lane en route to Chichester Cross. There we met Harvey. I suggested a route via Emsworth taking Clay Lane to the A259 and Southbourne to Emsworth where we met Roy Wasdell. We took the track through to Westbourne and then on to Rowlands Castle.
It was very hot with not many people or Cyclists at the Cafe. In view of the heat we took a direct route back via Fishbourne Roman Palace via Clay Lane for tea, leaving Roy at Westbourne Harvey split off at Chichester and the rest of us headed back to Bognor along the Cycle path. Distance from and back to Felpham was 42 miles
Monday, 24 July 2006
Exton - 23 July - early start
Richard Boulton of Arun Adur joined Phil, Mary and Edwin at Chichester Cross for the 9 am start for Exton, Hampshire. We headed north on the Centurion Way and then crossed by Binderton to join the Chilgrove Road which we followed until the turn to East Marden. The weather was cooler than of late (average 25 degrees for the day) but it was still comparatively humid. From East Marden we followed minor roads westwards until we crossed the railway line north of Rowlands Castle and climbed the steep hill to Chalton. A tentative plan to take the footpath north to the visitor centre was abandoned due to time pressure and excessive undergrowth so we continued to cross the A3 and then re-cross to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park Visitor Centre.
Adrian was waiting in the coffee shop and after taking refreshments we headed back into Clanfield and then climbed up to the Meon Ridge for the usual spectacular ride along the ridge, eventually descending to Warnford from where we followed the A32 south to Exton, and the Shoe Inn.
Our return route took us through Chidden and past the Bat and Ball pub to a rather hair raising crossing point on the A3. We have not used this for some years and the traffic is both faster and denser than prior crossings. Adrian turned south just prior to Clanfield. We continued to Rowlands Castle for tea where we were joined by Sam and Graham who then returned towards Chichester with us, through Funtington and then down Watery Lane to pick up the South Coast Cycle Route back. We covered about 100 km but at a reasonably good pace so we were back in Chichester soon after 4 pm.
Sunday, 23 July 2006
Thursday, 20 July 2006
Evening Ride: The Black Horse, Binsted (Felpham start)
After a poor start to the season, the weather for the last few evening rides has been excellent, and tonight was no exception. A blisteringly hot day had cooled down a little, and with no wind, riding conditions were perfect.
Four of us set out from the Fox - Julian, Val, Alan, and myself - and we threaded our way through the housing estates of Felpham and Middleton, heading to Binsted via Yapton, Ford Lane and Ford.
After Ford station we turned into Tortington and began the short, but noticeable, ascent into the foothills of the South Downs, before turning south again for the descent into Binsted Woods.
At the very bottom of the hill, the tarmac ends and the lane becomes a rough stony track. Caution is required in order to avoid an unplanned dip into Binsted Lake, presided over by the mysterious shrine to the Madonna. This part of the wood is always a very lonely spot and with the sun slowly setting as we arrived, it did seem to be particularly atmospheric tonight.
We did not linger, but climbed up the hill past the ancient ruins of Tortington Manor, to re-join the tarmac, and, eventually, the lane ended up at the pub.
No Chichester contingent this week, but we were joined later by Edwin, fresh from his time trialling, who came all the way back with us.
For the return route I followed a more direct line over Hedgers Hill and back to Yapton via North End. From Yapton it was straight to Felpham via Middleton Road.
Mileage from the Fox, back to the Fox, a modest 18.
Sunday, 16 July 2006
Sunday 16 July. Chichester start ride to Ayling Garden Centre, Trotton.
Another day of cloudless blue skies and temperatures rising to about 28C.
I was leading the ride and Avryl and Harvey joined me at the Cross with Adrian meeting us at Compton. We rode via West Ashling and Funtington to stop for elevenses at Compton Stores.
We continued with a fairly easy climb up the southern side of Harting Hill and then a sharp descent to Harting Village. We saw a large group of veteran motorbikes coming towards us. I heard my name shouted and saw Richard Carlisle in the group.
We continued via Nyewood and then a narrow quiet country lane to Trotton.
At the Garden Centre John Maxim was waiting for us and we were later joined by Alan and Liz who came direct and then Colin and Gill the Walberton Pond starters. Sam and Graham joined us after riding large parts of Hampshire first. The meeting of Cyclists was completed when Arun Adur members joined us led By Ernie.
We headed back on lanes via Didling and Cocking to stop for tea at West Dean Gardens.
My mileage for the day from Pagham was 53
Wednesday, 12 July 2006
Evening Ride - The Anchor, Sidelesham (Felpham start)
Another evening of excellent cycling weather with glorious sunny conditions and no wind to speak of, as 4 of us (Edwin, Julian, Janet, and myself) set off bound for Sidlesham. Our planned destination had been the "Crab & Lobster", but we had heard at the last moment that it was closed for refurbishment, so instead the ride was diverted to the nearby Anchor.
We headed west right through central Bognor Regis to meet the seafront at Aldwick. The tide was out and good views were had of the Bognor Rocks, protruding like dragons teeth out of the shallow water in the distance. Then leaving the sea behind, we continued inland to Nyetimber, where we took Summer Lane and a very rural route across fields, crossing the Pagham Rife en route.
From hereon it was narrow roads and farm tracks all the way.
Our route via Chalder and Bramber Farm has been well established by the club for many years, although the "No Cycling" signs and "Footpath Only" notices may give the unwary the impression that cycling is discouraged. On this occasion, as we opened a gate to proceed along the lane to Bramber Farm, we saw the farmer coming towards us in his landrover. Somewhat disconcertingly he pulled up on the track ahead of us, stopped his engine, and got out, heading towards us.
Never one to back away from a challenge, I nonetheless felt it prudent to allow our ever present solicitor (Edwin) to go ahead of me, whilst I attempted to integrate myself at the back of the ride. However any thoughts of confrontation were quickly dispelled as the farmer wished us good evening, commented on the fine weather, pointed us in the direction of the pub, and offered to shut the gate behind us! He then went about his business as we rode across his land, through the farmyard, crossed the route of the old Selsey tramway, and into the pub garden. As is becoming the norm, the Chichester group were already halfway through their beer as we arrived.
We left the pub about 9.20pm and as it was still daylight, we headed south, then crossed the fields to to reach the edge of Pagham harbour nature reserve and cycled along the embankment back to Pagham and Bognor Regis. The harbour is an isolated place at the best of times, but in the silent twilight it becomes a very beautiful spot to cycle around.
From Pagham we returned to Felpham using nearly the full length of the promenade to round off an evening of almost entirely traffic free cycling. Return mileage to Felpham was 18.5.
Sunday, 9 July 2006
Sunday 9 July. Tichborne near New Arlesford
Today we had a long ride from Chichester meeting up for elevenses at Tesco Cafe, Petersfield with riders coming there direct by car or bike.
I led the ride in place of Phil and Mary who were not able to make it. Weather was not promising at first with constant light rain and a strong SW wind. This however cleared by 11.00 with good sunshine in the afternoon.
Gillian, Colin and Chris joined me for the ride to Petersfield. We rode via Funtington, Compton and Harting. We had a welcome break at Tesco where we were joined by Steve, Ann, Adrian and John Wickens from Arun Adur.
Gillian and Chris headed back from Petersfield. The remaining 6 of us headed on by way of a lane to East Meon and then along the Meon Valley to West Meon. Then along some quiet lanes to Cheriton and on to lunch at the Tichborne Arms, Tichborne.
In the afternoon we did a lot of meandering up and down quiet Hampshire lanes near Privett and High Cross. The planned route was to descend down to Petersfield on the hairpin bends of " Little Switzerland" near Steep. However when we arrived at the top the road was firmly closed with 2 lots of substantial barriers preventing even bikes getting through and a notice about serious subsidence.
The map was consulted and the diversion by road would have been quite long. There was a bridlepath on the map down a farm track so we headed down it. After following the ridge a little way the track plunged steeply over the edge with deep ruts and slippery chalk which we all walked down. At the bottom we rejoined tarmac at Oakshott and took winding lanes to Steep and Petersfield.
Everybody agreed it was a memorable and challenging Ride. By the time I returned to Pagham my mileage was 85 and from and back to the Cross it was 73.
Saturday, 8 July 2006
Saturday 8 July. Saturday Ride to Earnley Garden Centre from Chichester
Weather today was fresher than of late at about 22C and sunny with patchy cloud. Freda was unable to lead the Ride today so I led on the way out and Kath took over for the return. We had a good attendance with 10 turning out including 3 newcomers.
We headed out to the Saltern Way cycle route alongside Appledram Lane and then across to the Yacht Basin. Then backroads over to Birdham and Earnley Garden Centre Cafe for Tea.
Kath led the group back via Almondington and I split off for home via Sidlesham and the cross fields route to Fisher.
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